Saturday, August 1, 2009
My eyeballs are basically rolling under the desk but I have to recount this most surreal, and oddly typical day of mine.
I went to bed at 5am, and set my alarm for 9am because my beloved Mesina was due to call at 9:30. Of course even as I leave my kitchen gleaming each night, by daybreak it's a war zone, so I scurried around and drank my protein shake, and then planned to take a shower. I might be the only female who shampoos, soaps, conditions and shaves (everyday) in 4.5 minutes, so I didn't anticipate a problem jumping in at 9:27. I'll be damned if Mesina didn't call at 9:28. Jesus. Really? So, since I had planned to do amazing things during our chat, including run to the store, I asked if she would call me back in five minutes. That wouldn't feel rude with any of you but she's British and somehow I felt as if I were asking her to loan me ten thousand quid. But of course she accommodated me.
We talked all about homeschooling, a possibility she now faces as epilepsy has rendered her a pedestrian indefinitely. I got dressed and dried my hair, and my skirt, with the fan, and just as she began to ask how I'm doing, as only Mesina can, she devised some excuse to hang up. (Kidding, it was legit.) She's calling me back in like three hours.
Off to Fred Meyer to haggle on an appliance, pick up donuts for the kids, grape tomatoes for myself, and figure out what to do with my day. Just then Deborah, who is two days post-op, texted to ask if today was good day to burn down, er, sort the playroom. The obvious answer is no, it is never a good day for that, but I told her to hang on. Then I made plans to drop something by Sam's, presumably en route to Deborah's. Genius, I know. But Todd called and said he needed me to drive him to Portland to retrieve the Jeep into which he has now officially put over 50 large. Um, he never asks me to do such things, and how could I say Deborah's playroom was more important?
"But I told Deborah I'd clean her playroom." He was incredulous but understands I will wither away and die if I do not do everything expected of me at all times. Except for him, apparently. So he said he'd get it Monday with his friend Todd. (All his friends' names are Todd.) I took the donuts home to my kids, and felt like a total douche bag for flaking on him, but in true Todd fashion he was totally over it.
Off I went to Sam's. Back story: Need I say it? I love Sam. She's my oldest friend in Salem and the wisest person I know. Her life is exceedingly busy and harrowing so it's hard to plan visits but somehow, pulling up to her curb to hand her something turned into one of the most intense, soul-searching, soul-finding, profound four hour conversations in recent memory. I mean, she is deep, but she actually got her tool belt on and went inside my brain, then to my heart and before I knew it I was sobbing, with full-on snot and everything, for the first time in many months. Obviously I responded to this by trying to leave, but my cocksucking Jeep wouldn't start. God, it caught whatever Jeep Swine Flu Todd's Jeep has. I reached for my phone off the dashboard to discover that it was like peeling Laffy Taffy off a griddle, and it was deader than dead. This was awesome. Todd couldn't save me because I was a selfish bitch who left him stranded with no car. AAA was useless because where would I take my car at 6pm on a Friday? And worst of all, while Sam was hoisting me up a notch on the evolutionary totem pole, I totally neglected Deborah, and felt so horrible I knew one of us would have to die.
So I went in Sam's house, drank lemonade, apologized a lot, and blew on my phone, which finally lit up said "Device had to power down due to heat stroke" or something, but it was still all floppy and hot. I called Todd, and he tried to advise me, 22 texts came in, so I couldn't hear him, and in retaliation I went outside and tried the engine again. Miraculously it started, so Todd forbade me from going back to say goodbye, insisting instead that I pull some Y chromosome-only driving-with-the-brake-on method of getting home. This, for those of you who haven't done it, requires two feet, and your power comes from the brake, talking on a Laffy Taffy phone, yelling at Todd because I was too stupid to figure it out, because it was the most counter-intuitive sensation ever. I'm ambidextrous, which is great. Driving with two feet is the opposite of being ambidextrous. It's being non-dextrous. And you can't think, you can only drive. I had to make it down Cordon Rd. to our house. I had no choice but to become some Jesus-turned-Nascar-racer in order not to die. I immediately lurched 40 feet onto Cordon and narrowly escaped death, to which I responded by closing my eyes. Traffic on Fridays. Enough said. I hit two green lights, feeling pretty good, until an ambulance was screaming behind me and my options were to think with my feet or drive into a cornfield in order to maintain motion. Luckily I compromised and cruised the shoulder. Whew. Nine secons later another one came, faster, and two assholes in Toyota pick-ups were like playing chicken or something about pulling over so I was nearly T-Boned as I jerked along the shoulder. After they sped away (hopefully into a head-on collision with each other), and I had gone a precious mile, a motherfucking fire truck streaked by, so fast, no one could pull over, but I was able to kill the car. I could see my turn, but I accidentally began thinking and I knew I was going to live there forever, on the shoulder-ish. I prayed to the baby Jesus and got back on the road and eventually to my house (thank you baby Jesus), whereupon I shuffled into the house, stripped off my clothes, sobbed to Deborah for failing her, responded to Sam who thought I went insane and stormed away for some Cheyenne reason, sucked my thumb, and drank some diet Pepsi. Todd had made some splendid dinner with veggies from his garden wonderland (coming to a blog near you), and pork, which may even be from pigs out back. I don't know, it's his domain. Again, I asked the baby Jesus to grant me a wish. That the side dish would be mashed potatoes. I asked Reilly what our starch was. "Mashed potatoes. Do you want a plate?" Did I? I was so hungry. I was so confused I didn't know whether to eat with my right hand,left hand, or my feet.
Meanwhile, a new friend is experiencing a hellacious break-up and is torn to shreds, which translates into roughly 8,095 texts per minute. I got online to deal with some business, answered a few emails, and perused facebook solely to check out Janis Joplin video my mom sent me. Then, by happenstance, I ended up chatting with my mom's old friend Dyan from Newport. They worked at the Women's Violence Intervention Program and she was always so cool. Obviously at 16 I had no way of knowing I'd be her age in 2.5 seconds, and we chatted for hours. It was so awesome. I hate that some of my favourite people defected to Colorado (Gail, Dyan), and I have every intention of getting Mesina deported, filthy expatriate. I assaulted her with links (which I abhor when on the receiving end), and she loved everything, and my friend continued to fall apart and have panic attacks and ask me if "STOP TEXTING HER" could in any way be interpreted as, "Text her how sorry you are for the 255th time." Poor guy. He is so sweet and so sad. By the time I got done with Dyan, and had new buddy breathing for 15 seconds, I began thinking about some cloves a friend left here last night. By thinking I mean I would kill anyone who tried to stop me. I'm actually over them, but I could hear them and really felt tempted. Just then Jennifer texted to say, out of nowhere, "Do you by any chance want to smoke on your patio right now?" Obviously I asked her to marry me.
I went outside to wait for her. Having forgotten Todd's mention of one of the lawn chairs warping in the heat, of course I sat on it, and it collapsed, and I fell flat on my back, smashing my head against a cinder block I never noticed is the size of Stonehenge, with my broken coccyx stuck in the crook of the former chair, and completely unable to get up. I called Todd from my phone and he came out and had absolutely no idea how to get me up without further entangling me in this twisted heap of metal. Just as I thought I would live on Cordon Rd., so did I think I'd live on the patio, my head mashed into the cinder block, dented, wrapped up in this chair. The kids would grow used to it as would their friends, like an iron lung. Instead Todd, who always surprises me by being able to lift me, just grabbed me up. Sure enough the chair snapped and gashed my leg open from knee to ankle. God it was so excellent. He asked about stitches, but what care I for gaping bloody legs when I'm about to have my first, well, born again clove?
Jennifer came over and vented some of her grief about her poor grandfather and how some relatives are not being nice. I felt so sad for her. She is one strong, hard-working mom, and it kills me that she can't grieve simply, without needless bullshit. Then she got a much-anticipated call from her best friend and excused herself around 1:45am, and I came in wrote this blog.
Somehow, even though my Jeep never breaks down, I never cry, and I never fall backwards into the corner of a cinder block, I feel like this was a pretty typical day.